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Wombat Creek Tramways

Wombat Creek is a H0 (1:87) scale model of a fictional town situated somewhere in the Victorian Goldfields, Australia.

The time is 1963. Geelong wins the VFL Championship against Hawthorn (109– 60). John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. ValentinaTeresjkova is the first woman in Space. The men behind The Great Train Robbery get £2.6 million from a Royal Mail train heading from Glasgow to London.

The town consists of several buildings. The “Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange” is a prominent building in the town centre. You will also find several other commercial buildings; among them the daily newspaper“W.C. Chronicle”(colloquial known as the "Toilet Paper") and “Wombat Creek Brewing Company” (Famous for the “Wombat Bitter”). “The Big Nugget Gold Mine” is situated at the Western outskirts of town near the small Chinatown. The War Memorial is in a small park along East Street.

The town’s mayor Alfred Campbell together with his son David Campbell owns several businesses, including the bank, the pub and the newspaper. AC/DC basically run the town and make most decisions on behalf of the rest of Wombat Creek’s residents, who, on the other hand, are too busy with their own businesses.

The mayor’s latest initiative is Wombat Creek Tramways. Wombat Creek doesn’t really need a tram system, but AC reckons tramways will improve the town’s reputation. Partly because of limited funds the tramways' construction and rolling stock depend heavily on second-hand requirements from other Australian and overseas tramways.

Myer is now open for business

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Mon, January 04, 2021 12:25:57
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Myer department store

I had hoped Myer (department store) would be ready for Boxing Day sales. Despite three days of intensive construction work on the site the extension of the original store front still lacked roofing and other features. Hopefully the store will be ready for a ‘grand’ opening in January 2021.

After a few more frantic days of work the roof is finished and signs and railings are up. A taxi rank in front of the store is ready for use – unfortunately the town’s only taxi is on route to Gum Nut Valley.

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Myer is open for business

As can be seen on the photo entering the department store will be a bit of a challenge due to the lack of a footpath near the revolving door, but I am sure that will not deter the customers getting to the good bargains.

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Myer, Wombat Creek

Deliveries to the department store are through the doors at the back. At the moment the sit high above the ground but that will be rectified at a later stage with an elevated back-road.

Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 13

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Mon, January 04, 2021 12:00:16

The Melbourne Tram Museum has been closed since late March 2020 due to COVID-19, but with the restrictions easing in Melbourne the museum may soon open to the public again. After being closed for such a long time the trams had become rather dusty, so some of the volunteers went back on the 2nd of January to start cleaning.

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Flinders Street Station, Melbourne

On my way to the museum I did a brief stop at Flinders Street Station. The facade is the inspiration for Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange. As can be seen from the photo I think, I have done a good job so far considering I have done all the modelling from pictures found on the internet. I also took the opportunity to photograph a few details of the roof along the concourse and the area in front of City Hatters.

Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 12

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Sat, December 19, 2020 12:09:58
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Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange under construction

I began the construction of the Bank during the lock-down here in Melbourne and have been relying on images I can source from the internet. One image showed some dimensions of the room above the entrance, which made it possible to calculate the width of the model. Another image showed an overall drawing enabling me to calculate the proportions of the building. Unfortunately the second drawing isn’t quite true to the building as it stands in real life. To the right of the main entrances the drawing didn’t show the extension of the booking office and the upper parts of ‘City Hatters’. I have begun to rectify this ‘mistake’ as shown.

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Extension of the Bank

You may notice a screw in front of the new extension. It is set into an ‘underground’ beam. Unfortunately the entrance to ‘City Hatters’ is in the basement! The beam must be moved. Fortunately all the screws are still accessible. The run of the steps down to the shop entrance can’t be found remotely, so I may visit central Melbourne for the first time in many months. At the same time I can do some photos of the window displays, which I can use for the model. Perhaps I will also purchase a new hat at the same time!

Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 11

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Wed, December 09, 2020 18:22:01
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Main entrance to the Bank

Lately I have been working on the interior of the Bank. I have decided only to do the entrance hall and the central banking room. The remaining rooms will not be visible once the building is in place.
Well, the same could be said about the central banking room, as seen on the first photo.

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Main entrance

If the roof is removed more details are visible. Of course the bank needs its roof, so the long term solution will be installing a few lights in the ceiling above the tellers. Long time ago I bought a string of 100 micro LEDs from Bunnings. It is a matter of digging them out from storage, cut a few from the string, calculate the need of resistors and install them above the tellers and in the entrance hall. Perhaps a project for the approaching holidays.

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The interior of the Bank

From now on the attention will be at the roof. The domes aren’t finished and balustrades will be placed along the edge of the roof.

Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 10

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Sun, November 29, 2020 17:56:02
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Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange

The domes are clad in copper sheets. I still need to add details such as capping along the ridges and decorative features.

The clocks at the entrances are in place. Not quite as the original building in Melbourne. The first attempt was too big and didn’t allow enough room for the well-dressed banker to enter without his hat been knocked off. Handrails will be added to the steps aiding the elderly costumers.

Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 9

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Tue, November 10, 2020 17:39:31
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Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange

The photo on this update may not show much progress compared to the previous one, but there are a few additions to the Bank. First of all the floor is in place. The floor pattern is – like the facade – modelled from Flinders Street Station, Melbourne. Whilst the original has a full octagon pattern the bank only received ‘a half octagon’. Instead an internal wall will separate the entrance hall from the offices and the vault. The staircase down to the vault is in place. Quite some work went into the stairs, but unfortunately they are not visible from the outside. As a result I have decided only to model the visible interior. It will be a compromise which will save a lot of time and the building may be finished not too long into 2021! The columns above the entrance are made from chicken skewers (after I have eaten the chicken!) and foil from cake cups (again I ate the cake first).
The pavers in front of the building are made from Scalescene prints. The uneven surface resembles the original surface. It will be a challenge to do the steps leading into the Bank. The grey base of the bank is too dark and will be repainted.
The roof is loosely placed on top of the building, which explains the gaps. The base of the roof is bending a bit, but should be flattened with the balustrades in place. The domes will be clad in green copper sheets from Scalescene.

Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 8

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Thu, October 01, 2020 16:44:35

Have you ever tried to work with ‘spherical geometry’? Well, if you have to construct a dome you certainly have. Triangles have curved sides and the sum of the interior angles exceeds 180 degrees. It is even possible to construct spherical triangle with two right angles! Great fun and difficult to get right.

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Wombat Creek Bank: The large dome

The bank is now ‘crowned’ by one large and two small domes. The photo illustrates how the larger dome is supported by 8 curved ‘beams’. The drawing for the beams was done in OpenOffice Draw. Since the curves originates at the corners of the octagon they do not follow a circle but are slightly ‘elongated’. This will create semicircles at the middle of opposing walls.

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Wombat Creek Bank: The large dome

PVA glue, clothes pins and a lot of patience helped getting 8 segments in place. They don’t not match up as well as I wanted, but the domes will be covered with copper panels from Scalescenes.

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Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange

Just waiting for Covid-19 restrictions to be lifted and the printing can be done. Until then the work on the Bank has come to a halt.

Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange – part 7

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Thu, September 24, 2020 17:27:28

Just a small up-date on the progress with and around the Bank. Windows are now proper framed.
Next to the bank a department store is under construction. It is a card-board kit from Metcalfe. It is low-relief and was intended as such, but due to its depth the building will not fit along the back of the lay-out. Instead a rear wall will be constructed and the store will eventually sit nicely next to the bank.

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Wombat Creek Bank and department store under construction

Until it is possible to get printing done at Officeworks (still out-of bounds due to Covid-19) the interior of the Bank and the back of the department store will have to wait. Likewise the pavement in front of both buildings. Instead the attention will be on the roof. I can do some work but again some printing has to be done.

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